Get the most out of your Farmer’s Market!

Get the most out of your Farmer’s Market!

A few years ago, my hubby Bryan was offered the opportunity to go teach for a couple of weeks in a Bible college in New Zealand.

I know, incredible, right?  New Zealand.  The land of unending delights. Of course he said yes, and of course the kids and I concocted a mad scheme for how we could make enough cash to actually go along to the bottom of the earth and see what it was like down there.

get the most out of your FM

THESE grow in New Zealand in wild abundance, and they are such beautiful colors that they make you want to cry when you look at them.

Do you know what it’s like in New Zealand?  It’s like . . . heaven, that’s what it’s like.  There are mountains there, breathtaking waterfalls, piles of picturesque rocks, banana trees, bubbling pools of mud, avocados growing on trees, the sea (of course) everywhere you look, the most amazing gumdrop ice cream, abundant rainfall, and an average temperature of (are you ready for this?) 73 degrees F.

Do you know what temperature has been found to be (in study after study) the most pleasant temperature against a human’s skin? 73 degrees F, that’s what.  And yes, I just made that up, but I’m sure that research would bear me out on this.  It’s the perfect temperature.

Basically, New Zealand has everything that we don’t have here in Nebraska.  Where our temperature soars to over 100F during the summer, and down to -20F in the wintertime, the temperature there swings from about 40 to 70, from what I understand.  Paradise, people.  Plus, they have no poisonous snakes or spiders, and very few annoying insects.

The people are sun-tanned and relaxed, and aren’t required to wear shoes into the grocery stores and restaurants.  My kids still harp on this. “It makes no sense to force us to wear shoes into the grocery store, Mom! Our shoes are dirtier than our feet could ever be!”  Well, don’t bet on it, Mack.  It’s the law, remember?Get the mostThis kind of a view makes me catch my breath, but is among the usual sights in New Zealand.

Here's little Mack when we went to New Zealand:  isn't he cute?

Here’s little Mack when we went to New Zealand: isn’t he cute? And no shoes–the entire time we were there!

I’m not complaining.  I love living here in Nebraska, but my point is that I didn’t even know that such a paradisical place such as New Zealand even existed.  I’m still so thankful that we got to visit.

So wait . . . what was I even writing about . . .? Oh yes, the mad scheme that the kids and I concocted to make some cash, so we could go to New Zealand.  That is how we got started selling at farmer’s market.  I always grow more vegetables and herbs and flowers than we can use. Every stinkin’ summer I do this. I can make bread and the girls are good at making lots of other kinds of baked goodies.  The plan was hatched.  We wrangled Mom of the gorgeous donuts and the practically perfect pies to join us, and we started our business. It was a lot of work, but we made enough money to help us to pay for our tickets and have a bit of spending money leftover, besides.

get the most out of FM

We still are selling at the farmer’s market in Seward, since we found out that a little extra cash in the summertime really comes in handy . . . and we’ve made friends of other vendors and our customers, and (heck!) we just enjoy the market atmosphere. I like being part of the scene, man.

I hope you have a farmer’s market in your area where you can go and buy the best local foods available, and find items that are difficult to find in the store. At our market, I get to choose every week from locally-grown veggies and fruit, local raw honey and honey products, the most aromatic soaps made from local goat milk, and locally-produced meats and lots and lots of other things.  I’m addicted to some almond toffee that a man brings to market every week. And the meat guys at our market make 21 kinds of brats, and I’m working my way down that list.

I read an article this week that has several points about how to get more out of your farmer’s market, and it was so helpful that I thought you might enjoy it, too, Gentle Reader.

These gorgeous beets were for sale at our market.

These gorgeous beets were for sale at our market.

This post is on one of my favorite blogs, Nourished Kitchen. If you care about the food that you serve to your friends and family (and I know that you do) shopping at the local farmer’s market will provide you with some of the freshest and most diverse offerings that you can find. This article will give you lots of good ideas of how you can get more out of your farmer’s market.

I’ve found, too, that if you take the time to make relationships with your vendors,  you may be able to get a heads-up when they’re bringing something special to market, or when quantities of your favorite items are low, perhaps they’ll save you some, or whatnot.  If I don’t have something on our table, for instance, that one of my regular customers asks for, I’ll try my best to provide it for them the next week.

That reminds me . . . I promised a customer that I’d make coconut bread again, so I’d better dig up that recipe . . .

Here’s a link to the article, and check it out for 10 great tips to get more from your farmer’s market!